Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pakistan: Fresh attack on NATO supply route

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Militants attacked a terminal used by vehicles ferrying supplies to U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan early Saturday, the latest in a string of strikes on the critical and increasingly perilous supply route that snakes through northwest Pakistan.

The raiders torched 11 trucks along the outskirts of Peshawar, the main city in the region that borders the lawless, militant-plagued tribal belt and is a key stop for vehicles traversing the famed Khyber Pass.

The assault happened even though Pakistani authorities sent paramilitary troops to the terminals where trucks gather in the Peshawar area. The attackers threw explosives and set the trucks ablaze, gutting them, said police officials Mohammad Yousuf and Shafiullah Khan.

Up to 75 percent of the supplies for Western forces in landlocked Afghanistan pass through Pakistan after being unloaded at the port city of Karachi. NATO says it is investigating other routes, but it and U.S. officials insist the escalating attacks on the Khyber route are not affecting their operations.

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